Are VMware Workstation & Fusion Dead?

There’s lots of bad news coming out of VMware lately. The kings of enterprise virtualization (by percentage of incumbent business only) have clung to the past, anticipating the private cloud was the only way forward, and did too little/too late with public cloud. Meanwhile Amazon, Google, and Microsoft attacked on both sides; Amazon with AWS on public cloud, Google to some extent (I reckon it’s overblown) with Apps, and Microsoft on all sides with Hyper-V, WAPack, System Center, Office 356/etc, and Azure.

The first cracks have appeared with some lesser products in the VMware portfolio – VMware made redundant the entire US-base development staff of Fusion and Workstation. To keeps sales going, VMware said:

VMware continues to offer and support all of our End-User Computing portfolio offerings …

I work in the channel (how software gets from manufacturer to reseller). I know that line. I know it very well. It’s what companies like Microsoft, VMware, etc say to keep sales going after a decision has been made to stop development of a product, and long before they announce that it is dead. They just want what little revenue there is to keep coming in. When you poke, you’ll be told something like “we continue to sell and support X”. You can hear the crickets and tumbleweeds roll when you ask about development and future versions.

It appears that vCloud Air, the public/private cloud program, was also hit with layoffs.

Meanwhile, you can:

  • Use the free/awful VirtualBox by Oracle.
  • Enable Client Hyper-V in the Pro editions of Windows 8, 8.1, or 10.
  • Use the free and fully functional Hyper-V Server on some “server”
  • Use trial/MSDN or Open/CSP accounts in Azure

In other news, Microsoft has launched the public preview of the Azure that you can download, with Microsoft Azure Stack.

What is it that they say about rolling stones and moss?

vSphere Doesn’t Need Any Security or Bug Fixes

So it seems that the vFanboys are chuckling to themselves today because they saw some bug fixes being released for Windows Server 2012 & Hyper-V.  I hate to burst your vBubble, but it seems that VMware also releases fixes.

For you IT pro wanabees out there, pretty much any decent amount of code is going to have bugs.  You can test all you want, but it’s really only when code gets out into the real world that the product gets truly stressed across scenarios, hardware, drivers, firmwares, and so on.  So, what can we find on the VMware site?  I did a search on ESXi 5.1 and saw this:


So VMware’s developers are human too!  Am I making fun of VMware here?  No.  Am I saying vSphere isn’t fit for usage?  No.  I expect to find bug fixes for heavy duty software.

Am I making fun of the fact that you need to install Java to download these fixes?  You bet your ass I am Smile  Seriously?!?!? You need to use the biggest security vulnerability on the planet to download security and bug fixes from VMware?  Damn!

What about the size of these fixes?  The smallest one is 306.1 MB and the largest is 602.4 MB.  Hmm.  You know how vFanboys love to gufaw about having to install the “bloatware” that is Windows Server to get Hyper-V?  The April update rollup for Windows Server that fixes a long list of things is just 45.4 MB. 

I’m thinking the vFanboys in question need to check their facts first.  You know who you are Smile

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This Announcement Comes To You From The Department of Virtualisation Disinformation

I have to admit, I have a big ol’ belly laugh on Wednesday as:

  1. I hit a whole new high in blog hits for the second day running after my Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V vs vSphere 5.1 feature compare post
  2. The childish reactions from vFanboys and VMware employees (including public facing VMware evangelists)
  3. Eric Gray declaring that more IOPS for VMs is ba-ad, mmmkay!?!?

When the pro-vSphere arguments are the equivalent of “You suck!” then you know you can stick a fork in ‘em cos they are done.

I especially loved the comments that I should read someone else’s post on the same subject because it was “fair and balanced”.  I LMAO at that one because anyone who declares Hyper-V only fit for SME environments, despite the fact that it is more feature rich and more scalable, has well and truly drunk the beyond-the-sell-by-date Kool-Aid:


Let’s deal with some other objections that came my way:

  • Balancing storage consumption for VMs: System Center PRO management packs more than deal with that.  In fact, one vendor’s MP gives us a hardware level view so that we can proactively balance work.  Next!
  • A rich eco system for DR: Hyper-V Replica is hardware agnostic.  Clustered host, non clustered, SMB 3.0, DAS, iSCSI, SAS, HP, NetApp, Dell, EMC … it does not care.  If anything, it makes expensive partner solutions irrelevant, making DR more affordable for all.   Next!
  • vMotion over long distance: What are you smokin’ there, cowboy? That’s just networking.  You still thinking Live Migration is unique to VMware?  Who says Crack doesn’t mess up your head?
  • Support for metrocluster:  Like Nancy Reagan says: just say NO.  People have been building multi-site, geo metro, whatever-the-hell-you-want-to-call-em clusters with Hyper-V for years, son.

This is the sort of crap that I’m talking about when I mention VMware FUD.  Either biased opinions or ignorance.  I can’t wait for the “You can’t run Linux on Hyper-V” argument Smile

Oh – and no one wanted to debate the actual feature comparison where Hyper-V is clearly in the lead, offering more, doing more, and doing it with full support for the flexibility of Live Migration.

My counter arguments:

  • How many VMs can you run in your cluster?  Only 3,000?  So you want me to have more clusters, more units of administration, and spend more time doing work?  Huh!
  • What happens when you Live Migrate SR-IOV enabled VMs?  Oh you can’t!
  • How many nodes in your public cloud solution?  Only 32?
  • Your VMDK is only how big and has what fundamental break out security flaw?  Ssssh!  Don’t mention the war!
  • ODX is only available in what version?
  • Even the most basic of virtual switch security features require what?  Oh more spending, right.
  • How small is your partner eco system to replace the VMware disposable virtual switch?  Does VMware not have enough faith in their own switch?  What good is it if it must be replaced to make it enterprise ready?
  • How much CPU do you waste by enabling IPsec in your VMs?  I forgot, security isn’t important in that solution.  Who cares about the app anyway, eh?
  • You can only do how many simultaneous vMotions on enterprise datacenter networking?  That’s not very good at all.  Sure, if more was bad, then why would Enterprise Plus bother with just 8?  Everyone loves waiting around for their 2 TB RAM ESXi hosts to pause so they can do some essential maintenance.  The risk of the h/w failure killing everything is a thrill ride like Russian Roulette.
  • Software Defined Networking isn’t built in?  Didn’t everyone just declare this essential after VMware spent over $1 billion to play catch up with WS2012 Hyper-V?  Maybe cloud is just a fad, eh?
  • The VMware Tools aren’t built into the Linux kernel?  Strange that, cos “evil community hatin'” Microsoft had the Hyper-V Linux Integration Services rubber stamped and included by Linus himself.
  • What is the VMware service deployment mechanism?  Ahhh, VMware is all about servers.  I get ya now.  I prefer managing service and SLA.
  • Wait … seriously …. how much do you want me to spend on vSphere?

VMware makes a good hypervisor.  It’s just now, WS2012 Hyper-V is more suited to the enterprise, and Microsoft gets it – the cloud is all about service, and not servers.  This era is about beyond virtualisation and the hypervisor.  Microsoft designed the solution for that.  Their experience in providing cloud services way before that term was coined really shows through, even more so now with their exposure to Azure.  It was clear which way things were going when I had the option to choose between Hyper-V and VMware back in 2008 after deploying/running a successful VMware deployment previously.  I cared more about app performance and availability than chocolate kettle doo-dads like FT, or their vSphere power optimisation feature which was included but not supported in production at the time.

Am I biased towards Hyper-V?  Absolutely, because I believe it and System Center are the superior solution.  Nuff said.

Go ahead punk, make me laugh.

It’s Easy To See That VMware Is Scared Of Hyper-V

Not only are they reversing the virtual RAM vTax that “would have no effect” on customers and help them to “right-size their clouds” but now their marketing mouthpiece is saying that concurrent live migrations are bad. LMFAO Smile

I love that he tries to make a point that the default maximum live migrations is 2, and that it must be sooo hard to change that number in the GUI.

This is a last grasp at trying to score points that only the most blinkered fanboy could agree with makes Novell Netscape VMware look really bad.  I love it Smile

And don’t forget, VMware storage is insecure too.

Hey Eric, while you’re blogging, can you let the VMware customers who paid memory vTax over the last year to right-size their clouds know how they can get a refund to return to their “VM sprawl” once again?


I just realised that by reading that post, VMware seem very unsure of using vMotion to migrate VMs with production workloads. Oooh, is vMotion that fragile?  I guess it might be seeing as it is allegedly based on Legato Replistor code and we all know how reliable Replistor was … oh .. right … it wasn’t that reliable at all.  Don’t worry vFanboys, Live Migration always leaves your VM running, even if something bad happens.  No bridges are burned; If the VM can’t migrate, it stays where it originally was, completely unharmed and uninterrupted.

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In Other VMware News …

Other than ESXi/vSphere having a fundamental breakout (the worst thing that can happen to virtualisation) security flaw, CRN reported that VMware is concerned about the competition.  The memory vTax that they announced at VMword 2011 is allegedly going to be dumped next week with the vSphere 5.1 announcement at VMworld 2012.

Has anyone asked if there will be vTax refunds for those folks who have coughed up for the virtual memory licensing of vSphere?

I guess that Netscape Novell VMware has learned that those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.  In some cases, they are doomed anyway.

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Serious Break-Out Security Flaw Found in VMware Cloud

A cloud is typically a “multi-tenant” hosting infrastructure where the owners of the virtual machines in the IaaS are customers of the hosting provider. This might be a private implementation in a corporation, government agency, or university.  It might be a hosting company (such as Rackspace) selling capacity to anyone with Internet access and a credit card.

I worked in the hosting biz for 3 years using virtualisation for IaaS.  When I was asked about it, I told people that:

  • No customer/tenant could trust any other customer/tenant
  • I (the hosting company) could not trust any customer/tenant

That’s because:

  1. Some of the customers/tenants favoured convenience over security, or they were complete and utter morons
  2. I didn’t know them from Adam and they could have been up to no good

Trustworthy isolation was critical, and the virtualisation being used had to be rock solid.  I could not risk one tenant getting access to another, and I absolutely in any circumstance could never let them near the infrastructure.

And that’s why a post on a Microsoft Canada blog which linked to a research article caught my attention yesterday.

Long story short: A hacker can craft a VMDK descriptor file, upload it to a cloud (a feature that is offered for migration), and configure that descriptor file to load VMware ESXi system files directly into the virtual machine.  They successfully tested this on ESX 5.0, loading the /etc/shadow file, which according to nixCraft:

… stores actual password in encrypted format for user’s account with additional properties related to user password i.e. it stores secure user account information

Woops!  That sounds like a file you don’t want to be making readily available.  Remember: this was a “hosting customer” that uploaded a VM as a guest, fired up the VM, and gained access to the usernames/passwords of the host.  They also got access to other files such as system logs. 

They then went on to gain access to all physical hard drives on the host.  You have to be kidding me!!!!!

So if you are a company setting up a cloud with VM upload/migration features, and basic security is important, then don’t use vSphere 5.0.

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Have We Reached A Turning Point In The VMware/Hyper-V War?

A few of us proclaimed it last September: Windows Server 2012 is to VMware as Windows 2000 was to Novell.  Evidence that others agree?

Gigaom reports that:

VMware left its core business exposed, they say, first by announcing heavy-handed vSphere price hikes last year that, in the words of one VMware watcher, “kicked the door open for Microsoft Hyper-V.” VMware has yet to recover from that, in his view.  Silicon Valley is baffled at how easy VMware has made it for Microsoft to come in and take all the easy stuff.

TechCrunch reports that:

Paul Maritz is out as the CEO of VMware and will be replaced by EMC COO Pat Gelsinger.

In my opinion, investing in a VMware solution right now would be like investing in IntraNetware in 2000.  You’ll have buyers remorse come September when Windows Server 2012 goes GA.

According to Google, the VMW stock on the New York Stock Exchange is also trending downwards over the past 3 months.  Meanwhile MSFT is running it’s usual unexciting steady.


I guess the people have figured out what the Emperor has been wearing for a while.

Meanwhile, the VMware marketing engine is doing their best to tell us how well they did in the past.  Yes, Novell was a market leader once.  So was Netscape.  So was Lotus Notes.  Spotting the trend here?

I’m happily waiting to moderate (aka delete) the VMware marketing/fanboy comments on this one unless they’re so badly informed that I’ll gladly approve to shoot them down with cold hard correct facts Smile

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VMware Cheaper To Manage? Ow! Must … Stop … Laughing

A study that VMware paid for claims that managing their virtualisation is cheaper than managing Hyper-V.  OK class, calm down.  You at the back … stop laughing before your head falls off!  Yes, and a study I paid for says that VMware are getting desperate … as in Novell in the year 2000 desperate.

Last year I wrote a post that compared the cost of Windows Server VMs on a 2U host, with 2 CPUs and 92 GB RAM., and 50 VMs  Hyper-V and all of System Center on one hand, and vSphere Standard (not Enterprise plus with all the features and all the additional cost) with just vCenter Operations.  Even with the most basic VMware solution (against the full MSFT pack), MSFT came in at 57% of the cost of VMware.

OK, since then, System Center 2012 SMLs are maybe a little more expensive than the old SMSD … but I can counter that now by switching to an ECI license (big discount for big orders) or CIS (small discount for small orders)  where Windows Server and System Center 2012 are bundled.

Maybe the VMware commissioned study is saying that the actual cost of operations are higher in the MSFT space?  How does one service pack or patch vSphere?  They do get released from time to time, you know.  Oh yeah … you don’t install them because they usually break the host.  But when you do, isn’t it time consuming?  Over on the MSFT space, I have Windows Update, WSUS or ConfigMgr to control the distribution of updates.  I can orchestrate the installation using VMM 2012, or I can use Cluster Aware Updating in Windows Server 2012.  Test, setup, fire and forget (well … run a report every now and then to check compliance).  Complete automation, baby!

What about the cloud?  How does that work in vSphere?  Spend lots and lots of money and hack the ell out of their rebadged point solutions.  In MSFT world, you have System Center 2012, download and add the Cloud Services Process Pack and there you have a private cloud, with self-service.  Now the “users” can deploy VMs for themselves with audit trails, governance, and all that jazz.  No need to involve IT in service deployment.

This could go on and on and on and on and on and …. 

Hmm, VMware, you really are sounding like you’re grasping for straws right now.

VMware Cloud Management Stuck In The 1990s

Credit to Dave Northey (DPE, MSFT IE) for blogging this one.  VMware’s CTO, Dr. Stephen Herrod says:

VMware Cloud Infrastructure Suite is really more of a marketing term. Those of you know our products deeply know that they don’t fit this well together as they need to. Some of them have multiple databases, some don’t look the same, some install differently, and what I can’t stand that is Site Recovery Manager doesn’t currently work with vCloud Director. So, what we are basically able to say is that we created and acquired companies that led to a lot of individual products that don’t work well enough together yet.

Worse … he was caught on video, as you can see on the link in Dave’s post.  Someone call Tad!

Seriously, I’ve been talking about this for a while.  VMware went and bought a slew of companies in the last few years.  Last year I was at a big VMware event in Dublin where they pushed their “integrated” cloud solution for vSphere.  If by integrated they meant that they changed the icons, grouped them together, and stuck a “v” in front of the name, then they did no better than Amdahl or CA were doing in the 1990’s.  I know; I worked with both product sets back then.  What you got were uncoupled, different, and non-integrated point solutions.  Hardly a cloud at all.

That sort of thing should be buried with grunge rock and rap metal back in that dark, dark decade.

On the other hand, a couple of months ago I was asked to whiteboard the integration of System Center 2012.  I had to tell the people in question that I might as well scribble lines all over the board because it was so deeply integrated.  That’s a modern day, integrated solution for ya!

Hey Ken Hess of ZDNet; You’re a FUD Feeding Fool! Yes, VMware Release Fixes Too

I’ve just read Dear Hyper-V fans, I’ll take that apology now by apparent VMware apologist Ken Hess on ZDNet.  I guess this fanboy who poses as a journalist is upset over the recent hypervisor vote on ZDNet where Hyper-V beat vSphere.

In his article, Hess says:

If you used VMware, you wouldn’t have to reboot your vulnerable systems after patching for the RDP Worm today. Sure, you’ll still have to patch all of your Windows VMs that ride on top of your VMware hosts but at least you don’t have to patch and reboot the VMware host system.

Huh!  Strange that.  Is Hess saying that VMware never releases patches for vSphere?  I think if you follow that link then you might find a different answer to that.  Or maybe the almighty VMware never have to release a security fix for vSphere?  Woops, wrong again Kenny-boy.  Maybe vSphere security fixes don’t require a host reboot?

Host Reboot Required


Oh it appears they do. 

OK, we don’t have downtime for VMs then?

Virtual Machine Migration or Shutdown Required Yes

Damn.  Ken must have seen something.  I know; patching vSphere must be easy just like it is for Hyper-V (where Automatic Updates, WSUS, System Center Configuration Manager, System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012, or Windows 8 Cluster Aware Update are all options):

ESXi hosts can be updated by manually downloading the patch ZIP file from the VMware download page and installing the VIB by using the esxcli software vib command. Additionally, the system can be updated using the image profile and the esxcli software profile command

Dagnammit, that sounds like a lot of work to me.  At least the patch is probably small.

297.7 MB

OK, so is Ken Hess just a fill of it, so-called-journalist, FUD fool, or is he just an uneducated moron?  Hey real journalists, I respect your ability to report news fairly, but guys like this do your trade no good.  But I guess maybe Hess isn’t a journalist. 

Maybe he’s a consultant or admin – I’d sure hate to be his client or employer because it appears that Kenny-boy has never checked the vSphere site for patches.  The fact is that any complex piece of code requires bug fixes and security patches.  To deny that … well … to deny that makes you moron.

Me wonders if Windows Server 8 Hyper-V has ‘em scared? Winking smile

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